DuckDuckGo Comes to the Mac in Beta

DuckDuckGo announced this morning that its privacy-protecting web browser is now available on the Mac in beta. A version for Windows is coming soon.

“Privacy isn’t something you only need in certain situations or in partial amounts, and it’s a myth that you can’t have the same Internet you like and need, but with more privacy,” DuckDuckGo’s Beah Burger-Lenehan writes in the announcement post. “So today we’re excited to announce the beta launch of DuckDuckGo for Mac. Like our mobile app, DuckDuckGo for Mac is an all-in-one privacy solution for everyday browsing with no complicated settings, just a seamless private experience.”

DuckDuckGo for Mac includes the company’s built-in privacy search engine, a tracker blocker, new cookie pop-up protection, a Fire button for instant data cleaning, email protection, and more. And, as DuckDuckGo notes, it’s free.

It’s also very fast, DuckDuckGo says, in part because removing all of the tracking speeds up web browsing performance: it uses the Safari rendering engine under the covers, and it uses about 60 percent less data than Chrome.

For security, DuckDuckGo for Mac has a built-in Smarter Encryption feature that uses HTTPS when possible, and that tracker blocker handles third-party scripts that could try to access personal data. And in-app data, like history, bookmarks, and passwords, are only stored locally by default and aren’t accessible to DuckDuckGo. Speaking of which, it also features the normal browser functionality one would expect, like password management, tab management, bookmarks, and the like.

There is one notable exception, however: Extensions. “We’re working on how to provide additional extension functionality without compromising those critical elements, but in the meantime, we’re confident our built-in features can meet your needs,” Burger-Lenehan says.

To get DuckDuckGo for Mac today, you will need to join the waitlist. To do so, use the DuckDuckGo app on mobile, navigate to Settings > Privacy > DuckDuckGo for Desktop and tap “Join the Private Waitlist.” When you’re granted an invite code, you’ll get a notification in the app.

There’s no word yet on the timing of the Windows version of this app, but DuckDuckGo says it is “coming soon.”

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  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    13 April, 2022 - 4:44 am

    <p>I find it very interesting that they are using WebKit as a basis and not Chromium on the Mac. They probably already had all the groundwork in place from the iOS/iPadOS versions and it was easier to convert that to a desktop app than to start again with Chromium – although I’m going to hazard a guess that the Windows and Linux versions will be Chromium based.</p>

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